A last minute idea turned out great! I needed a quick book and activity for third grade classes for our first week back to school after the winter break. I perused through some new books and saw, The Most Perfect Snowman by Chris Britt. This story is about sharing and being judged on your clothes; it’s a combination of fantasy and real emotions. After reading this book, I asked the students to create their “perfect snowman.”
Creating Their Perfect Snowman
I asked them to think what their perfect snowman would look like. Granted, our children don’t have much (in some cases, any) experience in building real snowmen, since it hardly ever snows in south Georgia.
I asked them to think of how their snowman would show emotion and motion. How could they express themselves? What might they do?
They really enjoyed the freedom to be creative. Some struggle when they have very few directions. I did hear a few, “I may a mistake; I need a new paper.” No, just turn it over or treat that “mistake” as an opportunity!
They loved this activity and it was so simple, construction paper and crayons.
I love their artwork, including traditional snowmen, a cowboy snowman, police snowman, teacher snowman, football player snowman and more.
Our second grade classes are exploring forces, especially the concept of push and pull. Georgia Standards of Excellence: S2P2. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to explain the effect of a force (a push or a pull) in the movement of an object (changes in speed and direction). I started thinking of books featuring a push or pull and thought of the traditional folk tale, The Great Big Enormous Turnip, written by Alexei Tolstoy. I like the version illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.
After reading the book we talked about how the people pulled on the turnip, creating a great force to get that vegetable out of the ground. We also made the connection to a similar experience they have every year at field day–the tug of war! I asked them to think of another person, animal or thing that could apply a force to get that turnip out.
Using paper and crayons they drew the turnip and how they imagined another version of the story. For the most part they came up with different ideas, gorillas, trucks, shovels, even Big Foot (when I told them to thing of something very strong). Some just illustrated the story (the old man, the old woman, grand-daughter, dog, cat and mouse); I guess I need to encourage them to think outside the box, use their imagination and get crazy!
I even bought a turnip as I figured few if any of the children would have eaten one. Several had heard of turnip greens (we are in the south after all).